B.C. won’t scrap rich pension for Ferries boss

Breaching contract would be wrong, expensive: Lekstrom

BC Ferries vessel Coastal Celebration in dock at Tsawwassen.

The province won’t rip up the deal that promises BC Ferries CEO David Hahn a $315,000-a-year pension even though Premier Christy Clark has condemned it as far too rich.

Transportation Minister Blair Lekstrom said Wednesday he was not previously aware of the arrangement but breaking it would be very costly.

“I’m not prepared to stand up and break a contract,” Lekstrom said, adding a “contract is a contract” whether it involves unionized labour or a high-profile CEO.

The comment was a reference to when Lekstrom stood on principle and voted against the BC Liberal government’s 2002 decision to tear up health sector contracts to privatize hospital support staff – a move ultimately overturned by the Supreme Court of Canada, which ordered the province to pay compensation and strengthened collective bargaining rights.

“I recognize the concern of the general public out there when we see these kinds of numbers,” Lekstrom said. “I did not know these were the numbers in the contract.”

He said government policy now limits future pay and pensions for BC Ferries executives to what is allowed in the public sector, but Hahn’s arrangement is grandfathered in.

Clark had called Hahn’s pension as “way, way too big.”

But BC Ferries board chair Donald Hayes said the legislature confirmed the pay and pension provisions in 2010 when the government amended the Coastal Ferry Act.

Hayes said in a statement the compensation package for Hahn was negotiated in 2006 at private sector rates in part to retain him in light of possible competing offers from other large private-sector firms.

Hahn’s base salary of $500,000 is topped up with a bonus and other benefits, pushing his annual pay to more than $1 million for 2011.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Epic first year for GW Graham curling crew

A team of upstarts has won an Eastern Valley banner and now goes hunting for a B.C. championship.

Take a run out to the corner store when Kim’s Convenience comes to Chilliwack

The play that inspired the hit television show is coming to the Chilliwack Cultural Centre

Chilliwack’s Deanna Tuchscherer named Canada West Rookie of the Year

Tuchscherer is also in the running for the U-Sports award which will be announced next week.

Chilliwack SPCA receives grant to help control feral cat populations

The local SPCA branch was one of 10 animal welfare groups who received grants this week

BC Seniors Advocate calls for better oversight in care home industry

‘There is no financial incentive right now to be a good operator’ - Isobel Mackenzie

RCMP ask court about disposal of evidence in Robert Pickton case

Pickton was sentenced to life with no chance of parole for 25 years for the murders of six women

Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs optimistic ahead of talks with feds, province

Discussions with provincial and federal governments expected to start later today

‘The project is proceeding’: Horgan resolute in support of northern B.C. pipeline

B.C. premier speaks as talks scheduled with Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs

BREAKING: Kelowna RCMP to further investigate 12 sexual assault cases, create sexual assault unit

Recommendations come five months after it was revealed 40% of sexual assaults were deemed ‘unfounded’

Explicit Greta sticker linked to Alberta company draws outrage

The sticker includes the logo of Red Deer-based X-Site Energy Services

Share Now, formerly Car2Go, leaves Canada with valuable data in changing market: expert

Vancouver was its largest market in North America, with more than 300,000 customers

Police seize nine guns, machetes, drugs from tent in Vancouver’s Oppenheimer Park

Police believe the tent is a communal or shared space and no single occupant has been identified

Off-duty RCMP officer helps catch Cache Creek car thief

‘This is just one example of how we are always ready to respond to emergencies’

Most Read